Le Propriétaire "Fruité" Blanquette Methode Ancestrale ($13.99)
This clear, straw-colored wine is lightly sparkling, foaming up with a brief, frothy mousse that falls back quickly, leaving no visible stream of bubbles in the glass. Fresh and distinctly appley aroma notes add earthy nuances that seem to blend leesy hints of yeast with a clean, woody scent of natural cork. Some lingering carbonation shows as a prickly sensation on the tongue, adding dimension to a crisp, slightly sweet apple-juice flavor. Not a wine of great depth, but a fine quaff or warm-weather aperitif. US Importer: Toad Hollow, Healdsburg, Calif. (Oct 23, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Went well enough with savory potato pancakes, and its prickly carbonation, sweetness and low alcohol might make it go unusually well with hot-and-spicy fare. As noted, though, it's probably best as a summer sipping wine or aperitif.

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